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Papua New Guinea Politics

State and politics

Papua New Guinea is an independent member of the Commonwealth, and the British Monarch is Head of State but is represented by a Governor General, appointed by Papua New Guinea's single-chamber parliament for six years. Its 122 members are elected in general elections every five years. The 19 provinces have far-reaching self-government. A review of this began in 1992.

Political System of Papua New Guinea

The many political parties reflect tribal affiliation rather than ideology. The 1997 elections resulted in a coalition government with Bill Skate (People's National Congress) as head of government. Papua New Guinea for an active foreign policy in the Pacific region and in 1989 signed a cooperation agreement with ASEAN.

Judiciary

The legal system has been developed under the influence of English law, not least via Australia. The country's highest court is The Supreme Court of Justice. The death penalty remains in the penal code but is de facto abolished in 1950. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how PG can stand for Papua New Guinea.

Human Rights

Papua New Guinea's modern history is characterized by violent ethnic clashes and internal political abrasions (see History). Since independence in 1975, the young island nation has experienced several shifts of power, state of emergency and a nearly ten-year civil war between the government and the separatist movement from the neighboring island of Bougainville.

Respect for human rights is lacking in several areas. Corruption and abuse, such as torture and violence, characterize the police system and impunity is widespread. According to data from human rights organizations, the latest government under Peter O'Neill has made progress in increasing political transparency, but corruption is still widespread. However, freedom of expression and pressure are respected to a great extent.

In sharp contrast to the constitution, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex, women and girls are subjected to abuses to a large extent. Violence and abuse against women are largely socially accepted. To a large extent, girls are at risk of sexual abuse in the school environment. Pregnancy leads to a shutdown.

In general, women are considered and treated as inferior and disadvantaged in all legal aspects, as well as in economics and politics. Rape rarely leads to prosecution and human trafficking for both sexual purposes and housework. Children are also affected by the commercialized sex trade, which is believed to be increasingly prevalent.

LGBTQ persons are stigmatized in society and for acts of a gay character men are often sentenced to long prison terms.

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